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Benefit Claims to Prior Applications under 35 U. S. C. §§ 119(e), 120, 121, Benefit Claims to Prior Applications under 35 U. S. C. §§ 119(e), 120, 121, and 365(c) Prepared by: Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA) Robert J. Spar, Director (703) 308 -5107 Bob. Spar@USPTO. gov February 19, 2003 1

Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Must include a specific Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Must include a specific reference to the prior-filed nonprovisional application in the first sentence of the specification; or the application data sheet (ADS). February 19, 2003 2

Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Specific reference to a Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Specific reference to a nonprovisional application requires the following: 1. Identification of the prior-filed application by application number; and 2. Indication of the specific relationship (i. e. , continuation, divisional, or continuation-in-part) of the applications; Exception: If application is a CPA, the request for CPA is the required specific reference, rule 1. 53(d)(7) Example 1: “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/---, filed---. ” February 19, 2003 3

Benefit Claims to Multiple Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) If Benefit Claims to Multiple Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) If the benefit claims involve a chain of nonprovisional applications, the relationship must be stated for each application (in the chain) relative to an immediate prior application, as a continuation, divisional, or continuation-inpart, to establish copendency throughout the entire chain. February 19, 2003 4

Benefit Claims to Multiple Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Example Benefit Claims to Multiple Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Example 2: “This application is a continuation of Application No. C, filed ---, which is a divisional of Application No. B, filed ---, which is a continuation-in-part of Application No. A, filed ---. ” Example 3: “This application is a continuationin-part of Application No. C, filed ---, and also a continuation-in-part of Application No. D, filed --. ” February 19, 2003 5

Benefit Claims to International (PCT) Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Benefit Claims to International (PCT) Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Specific reference to an international application (IA) requires: 1. Identification of the prior-filed IA by International application number and International filing date (not the § 371(c) compliance date); and 2. Specific relationship of the applications. Example 4: “This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---. ” This example is for a benefit claim to an IA in a “bypass” application. A “bypass” application is a § 111(a) application claiming under § 365(c) the benefit of an IA that did not enter the national stage under § 371. February 19, 2003 6

Benefit Claims to International (PCT) Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Benefit Claims to International (PCT) Applications under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Example 5: Specific reference to a National Stage (§ 371) Application “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/--, which is the National Stage of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---. ” Note: § 371(c) compliance date should NOT be given. Example 6: Specific reference to an IA which claims the benefit of a prior U. S. Nonprovisional Application: “This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---, which is a continuation of U. S. Application No. 10/---, filed ---. ” February 19, 2003 7

Benefit Claims to Provisional Applications under 35 USC § 119(e) Must include a specific Benefit Claims to Provisional Applications under 35 USC § 119(e) Must include a specific reference to the priorfiled provisional application in the first sentence of the specification or an ADS. Specific reference requires: Only the identification of the prior provisional application by the application number. No relationship between the subject nonprovisional application and the provisional application should be specified. Example 7: “This application claims the benefit of U. S. Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed ---. ” February 19, 2003 8

Benefit Claims to Provisional via Intermediate Nonprovisional Application under 35 USC §§ 120, 365(c) Benefit Claims to Provisional via Intermediate Nonprovisional Application under 35 USC §§ 120, 365(c) & 119(e) If the subject application is not filed within 12 months from the filing date of the provisional application, the specific reference must identify: An intermediate nonprovisional application that is directly claiming the benefit of the provisional application; and The relationship between the nonprovisional applications. Example 8: “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/---, filed ---, which claims the benefit of U. S. Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed --. ” February 19, 2003 9

Benefit Claims to Provisional via Intermediate IA under 35 USC §§ 120, 365(c) & Benefit Claims to Provisional via Intermediate IA under 35 USC §§ 120, 365(c) & 119(e) Example 9: Specific reference to claim the benefit of a provisional application via an IA. “This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---, which claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed ---. ” Example 10: Specific reference to claim the benefit of a provisional application via a National Stage (§ 371) Application “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/--, which is the National Stage of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---, which claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed ---. ” February 19, 2003 10

Impact of Failure to Make Proper Benefit Claims Failure to timely submit the specific Impact of Failure to Make Proper Benefit Claims Failure to timely submit the specific reference is considered a waiver of any benefit claim unless a petition under 37 CFR 1. 78(a) and surcharge are filed. The Office may not be able to publish applications promptly after the expiration of a period of eighteen months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is sought. The publication may not include accurate benefit claims to determine the prior art date under 35 USC § 102(e). February 19, 2003 11

Notification of the Failure to Make Proper Benefit Claims The Office plans to notify Notification of the Failure to Make Proper Benefit Claims The Office plans to notify applicants on, or with, the filing receipt that a benefit claim may not have been recognized because it did not include the proper specific reference. The filing receipt is usually provided shortly after the filing of the application so applicants should have sufficient opportunity to submit the proper benefit claim within the time period set in rule 1. 78(a). Applicants should carefully and promptly review filing receipts in order to avoid the need to submit a petition under rule 1. 78(a) and surcharge under rule 1. 17(t). February 19, 2003 12

Timely Correction of Benefit Claims Within the time period of 37 CFR 1. 78(a)*, Timely Correction of Benefit Claims Within the time period of 37 CFR 1. 78(a)*, applicant may correct benefit claims by filing: A request for corrected filing receipt, and The Required specific reference Via an amendment to the specification, or an application data sheet (ADS) (see slide 2); or If previously submitted, a copy of the amendment or ADS. *The later of four months from the actual filing date or the date on which the national stage commenced, or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior-filed application. February 19, 2003 13

Untimely Correction of Benefit Claims After the time period of rule 1. 78(a) has Untimely Correction of Benefit Claims After the time period of rule 1. 78(a) has expired, applicant may petition to correct benefit claims by filing: A petition to accept an unintentionally delayed claim under rule 1. 78(a) and the surcharge under rule 1. 17(t), and The required specific reference (including the relationship of the nonprovisional applications and identification of any intermediate application which directly claims the benefit of the provisional application). Note: any benefit claim under 35 USC § 119(e) must be submitted during the pendency of the instant nonprovisional application. February 19, 2003 14

Prior Applications Also Must Include Specific Reference Each intermediate prior application must have specific Prior Applications Also Must Include Specific Reference Each intermediate prior application must have specific reference to other prior applications. For example, this benefit claim, “This application is a continuation of Application No. C, filed ---, which is a continuation of Application No. B, filed---, which claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. A, filed ---. ” will only be effective if: Application No. C actually includes a proper benefit claim to Application No. B and Provisional Application No. A; and Application No. B actually includes a proper benefit claim to Provisional Application No. A. February 19, 2003 15

Adding an Incorporation-By-Reference After the filing of an application, adding an incorporation-by-reference statement in Adding an Incorporation-By-Reference After the filing of an application, adding an incorporation-by-reference statement in a benefit claim is not permitted. No new matter can be added to an application after its filing date. See 35 USC § 132(a) and Dart Industries v. Banner, 636 F. 2 d 684, 207 USPQ (CADC 1980). The Office will not accept a specific reference that includes an incorporation-by-reference statement of a prior application, unless such statement was submitted on filing of the application. February 19, 2003 16

Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. 1: Specific reference to a nonprovisional application. “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/--, filed---. ” Ex. 2: Specific reference to multiple nonprovisonal applications. “This application is a continuation of Application No. C, filed ---, which is a divisional of Application No. B, filed ---, which is a continuation-in-part of Application No. A, filed --. ” Ex. 3: Specific reference to multiple nonprovisional applications. “This application is a continuation-in-part of Application No. C, filed ---, and also a continuation-in-part of Application No. D, filed ---. ” February 19, 2003 17

Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. 4: Specific reference to an IA. “This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---. ” Ex. 5: Specific reference to a NS (§ 371) application “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/--, which is the National Stage of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---. ” Note: § 371(c) compliance date should NOT be given. Ex. 6: Specific reference to an IA which claims the benefit of a prior U. S. Nonprovisional Application: “This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---, which is a continuation of U. S. Application No. 10/---, filed ---. ” February 19, 2003 18

Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. 7: Specific reference to claim the benefit of a provisional application when the subject application is filed within 12 months from the filing date of the provisional application. “This application claims the benefit of U. S. Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed ---. ” Ex. 8: Specific reference to claim the benefit of a provisional application via a nonprovisional application. “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/---, filed ---, which claims the benefit of U. S. Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed ---. ” February 19, 2003 19

Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. Appendix: Examples of Benefit Claims under 35 USC §§ 120, 121, and 365(c) Ex. 9: Specific reference to claim the benefit of a provisional application via an IA. “This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---, which claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed ---. ” Ex. 10: Specific reference to claim the benefit of a provisional application via a National Stage (§ 371) Application “This application is a continuation of Application No. 10/--, which is the National Stage of International Application No. PCT/US--/---, filed ---, which claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/---, filed ---. ” February 19, 2003 20

For Further Information… Office of Patent Legal Administration – (703) 308 -6906 or e For Further Information… Office of Patent Legal Administration – (703) 308 -6906 or e -mail to Patent Practice@USPTO. gov Amendment Practice – Elizabeth Dougherty 306 -3156 or Joe Narcavage 305 -1795 Patent Term Adjustment (PTA)- Kery Fries 308 -0687 Eighteen-Month Publication – Mark Polutta 308 -8122 Provisional Applications- Fred Silverberg 305 -8986 Reexamination- Jerry Dost 305 -8610 or Ken Schor 308 -6710 Reissue- Joe Narcavage 305 -1795 RCEs & CPAs- Gena Jones 306 -5586 or Joni Chang 308 -3858 Sections 102(e), 102(g) and/or 103(c) - Robert Clarke 305 -9177, Mark Polutta 308 -8122 or Jeanne Clark 306 -5603 Electronic Filing, CDs – Michael Lewis 305 -5585 or Jay Lucas 308 -6868 February 19, 2003 21

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